The world has said goodbye “George” the lonely snail who died at the old age of 14.
As many celebrated going into a new year, George, the last of his species – the Achatinella apexfulva – said goodbye to life and the Hawaiian tree snail became extinct.
George was born in the safe captivity of the University of Hawaii, and lived a life serving as an ambassador for plight of the Hawaiian land snails.
In his 14 years he appeared in many newspapers and magazines and, although he was lonely – being the last of his kind – he was visited by hundreds of school children all eager to meet him.
During his life, researchers looked in vain for the possibility of another one of George’s species in hopes of a breeding pair.
Even with hopes of cloning, researchers believe George’s passing may just be the start of other species of tree snail slipping away and becoming extinct due to threats from other invasive species’ and climate change.